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Flint getting $4 million in federal grants to aid public safety

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is getting $4 million in federal grants to combat violent crime and assist with sexual assault investigations.

A $1.5 million grant comes from the Department of Justice for a community-based violence intervention and prevention initiative.

City officials said they hope the grant will help efforts that have resulted in a decline in violent crime in Flint this year.

“This grant is a planning grant,” said Lottie Ferguson, Flint’s chief resilience officer, “So we are hopeful to get feedback from the community and partners on exactly on what they believe is the best way to attack this problem.”

The city is also getting a $2.5 million grant from the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

The grant will help the city with nearly 500 kits to be processed as part of sexual assault investigations.

Detective Sergeant Mona Patterson is a criminal sexual conduct investigator with the Flint Police Department.

“I’ve been on the department for over 25 years,” Patterson told reporters Tuesday, “and I would say since I’ve been in this unit I’ve probably cried the most.”

Seeing survivors "get justice for what has happened to them in the past means a great deal," she said.

Flint mayor Sheldon Neeley said the federal grant funds will allow the city to free up other money for other police programs.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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